WSU Extension


Pepper, Eggplant : Mosaic viruses
(revision date: 6/3/2014)

Several viruses can cause mosaic symptoms in peppers. Most of these viruses are transmitted by aphids, but Tobacco Mosaic Virus is also transmitted by mechanical means including tools and hands. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus is transmitted by thrips. Typical mosaic symptoms include development of yellow to green leaf mottling, ringspot or line patterns on leaves or fruit, curling and distortion of leaves, and stunted plants. Fruit infected with Tobacco Mosaic Virus is yellow or mottled and is often also deformed and dwarfed. Mosaic viruses typically survive through the winter on perennial hosts including alfalfa, clovers, and weed species.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Control weeds in and around the garden.
  • Controlling aphids (and/or thrips) may help reduce spread of infection.
  • Pull out and destroy infected plants as soon as symptoms are noticed.
  • Wash hands after smoking or handling tobacco products and before working with plants.
  • Wash hands after handling infected plants.
  • Several varieties are resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus including 'Bell Boy', 'California Wonder 300', 'Yolo-wonder', and others. For a more complete list see the current PNW Plant Disease Management Handbook.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Cucumber mosaic virus symptoms on pepper
Photo by: L.J. du Toit
Caption: Cucumber mosaic virus symptoms on pepper
Photo by: L.J. du Toit